Here I place the 'rough' finished chapters as they become available. Remember that I am likely to change or update these as the work progresses.
This chapter actually contains content from the 'regular scene', but I didn't get a chance to finish it so here's what I have so far...
Glory had instructed the onboard computer to wake her and then crashed, still wearing the gold dress she'd put on for dinner so she wouldn't have to repack the carry-on back that contained a few changes of clothes that she'd brought back to her room earlier. Most of the belongings they'd collected from her parents' home had been left on the little transport ship Richards had used to take her there, and he had instructed the pilot to have a few of the men transfer them to the cargo hold of the shuttle they'd be taking out to the Nautilus.
She was amazed that she'd managed to sleep the entire time, no tossing or turning or anything, considering that usually she couldn't sleep at all in a new place. But then again, having the freedom to do as one pleased, rather than being worried what your parents thought you should be doing, was rather liberating. Maybe she'd been so relieved that she was finally able to relax.
Whatever the reason, that relaxation didn't last once she was dressed and ready to go. Kurana arrived to find her pacing, and Glory was so excited to get to the shuttle that she practically left the other woman behind, she walked so briskly.
"Our shuttle is one floor from the top," Kurana told her as they stepped into a lift at the parking tower. "Captain Richards is considered a VIP, so you'll always find his ships at the top levels."
"Yeah, we studied about space station configurations at school, so I figured we'd be heading up," Glory told her. "I'm so curious to see if the docks look any different up there."
The doors opened even as Kurana giggled, saying, "Well, not exactly different, but there's more space and less docks, I suppose. That, and a much better view of the stars from the observation lounge. I would never take a newbie into the shuttle before showing her a first glimpse of where we're going. Come on. You can leave your bag right here while we have a look. Nobody would even think of messing with your stuff on this level, especially since it's clearly marked."
Glory's suitcase was a shimmering gold color, just like the rest of her clothes, though in a somewhat deeper tone. The crest of her family – the star – was clearly emblazoned on the front. Kurana was right. There was no way anyone could mistake who it belonged to.
She followed Kurana with an excited anticipation. It was one thing to get a glimpse of the distant stars from the Regulus Prime observatory, and quite another to get a good look at them without any filters. There were thousands of little pinpoints and a few that were just a bit bigger than the others, which Glory knew meant they were probably closer rather than larger, though it was easier to guess at the size of a star by its color.
"This is incredible," she sighed dreamily as she gazed longingly out the window.
"Honey, this is nothing," Kurana scoffed. "Wait till you get a load of the wormhole. Come on, we have to get on board and settled. I need to go find Reagan, and your seat is way up at the front with the officers. Do you think you'll be all right to find it on your own?"
Glory nodded as they stopped for a moment so she could retrieve her bag and then continued through the docking bay doors. She said, "Yeah, I should be fine. Finding the way to the front of a shuttle can't be that difficult, even though this one is really huge."
Kurana snickered. "Yeah, I'll bet you'd think so. But hey, I'll leave you to it. You'll discover a whole lot more about space travel soon enough." Near the entrance to the shuttle itself Glory saw a few people, though like Kurana most of them were headed for the rear of the vessel. It didn't take long before she was following the upward incline and a few blinking lights up to a partition and into the seating area beyond. To one side she saw a huge wall covered with little cubes, and many of them contained luggage.
Glory rolled her eyes and glared at the tiny compartment, which was not wide enough and not tall enough for her suitcase. Honestly, guidelines on how to conduct oneself while on board an interstellar vessel were hardly useful if you couldn't even bring your baggage along for the ride.
As she continued to struggle with the possibilities of how to fit a ten-inch-wide suitcase into an eight-inch-wide hole, she felt rather than saw something decidedly male brushing past her, his thigh making contact with her ass along the way. She turned with the intention of glaring until she caught sight of the man in question.
"Captain Richards, please excuse me," she said. "I didn't realize I was blocking the way."
"Of course you weren't, Miss Star," he said, smirking. "It's just that your delectable backside was too tempting to ignore while you were bent at such an awkward angle."
Now Glory actually did glare. "You must be teasing me, sir."
He snorted softly. "Perhaps. Here, let me help you with that."